Read Leaning, Leaning Over Water by Frances Itani Online


In the years after WWII, Jock moves his family to the banks of the Ottawa River, where he complains about the government, and tries to teach his children about life and poetry. But beneath the unrippled domestic surface bubble the anxieties and hopes of the women in the family....

Title : Leaning, Leaning Over Water
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780340838648
Format Type : Unknown Binding
Number of Pages : 485 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Leaning, Leaning Over Water Reviews

  • Lucinda
    2019-03-23 23:35

    This set of 10-stories-making-a-novel is very much reminiscent of Alice Munro's quasi-autobiographical stories. They both have a real gift for presenting fathers and mothers through the eyes of children - what children see and know, and how they make sense of actions and words in light of their own childish preoccupations. So brilliantly written. Of course Munro's stories, her quasi-autobiographical childhood ones anyhow, are set in Ontario, often in the 1930s or 1940s, and Leaning Leaning Over Water is set just across the border in Quebec in the 1950s. Itani's descriptions of the social fabric of small-town Quebec society (in particular small town Quebec society very near to the Ontario border) as seen through an Anglo-protestant child's eyes are fascinating. There are all these layers of politics and class in these descriptions but, of course, children are scarcely aware of these things, or when they are aware there is no room for subtlety (in particular her main character, Trude's, ideas around Catholicism are very telling).This is certainly one of my favourite Itani novels, and I will definitely be revisiting it for multiple reads. She tells childhood, adolescence and young adulthood with brutal honesty - fleeting friendships that remain loosely tethered simply because of shared experiences, petty concerns and rebellions, and that vague awareness we have of what is really going on in the adult lives around us.

  • Mrsgaskell
    2019-04-22 23:33

    I loved both Deafening and Remembering the Bones. This is an earlier work by Itani and I thought it was a collection of short stories but was pleased to discover that it is in fact a novel told in short story format. I can say that this author has not disappointed me yet. I loved the black and white photos at the beginning of some sections. Born in the mid-fifties, my childhood memories are mainly of the sixties but this novel set in the fifties was still a nostalgic read. Itani is a very observant writer. Paris paté sandwiches, cartons of Neapolitan ice cream, licorice pipes… I remember my friend’s mother rolling cigarettes just as described. All these things, along with the references to Ottawa and Hull added to the verisimilitude of this novel for me. About the Kings, an Anglo Ontario family who move to a small Quebec village when their father has to look for work, the story is mostly narrated by the middle child Trude. It’s about childhood, its perceptions and its long days of freedom, family life and the cultural differences that surround this family.

  • Lorraine
    2019-04-03 22:27

    Ten short stories, or chapters really, about an Ontario family in Quebec in the 1950s. Almost all of the stories are narrated by Trude, the middle child. The stories talk about rural life, family, childhood adventures and rebellion. For most of the novel the family lives beside a river, and water is a significant symbol in the book. There is a dam that is old; the father warns the children not to lean on it because it will crumble over. But they do test its strength and nothing breaks. Mother faces the river and loses, Father faces the river and survives, eventually the dam does crumble. It's about will and family and survival.Well written, with dynamic characters and unpredictable stories. Thought-provoking.

  • Lady Drinkwell
    2019-04-22 01:12

    As his book is divided into short stories it is quite different from the usual coming of age books. Each story provides an image of a different period of life, some of them more striking than other such as the woman floating upwards on the water. Refreshingly some of the proccupations of teenage girls such as boys and their own looks are barely touched upon. Trude the main character is described as a "watcher" and shows in very clear pictures what goes on her own rather magical if slighty distrubing and sad world.

  • Candace
    2019-04-14 03:10

    The story of an Anglo-Irish family that moves from Ontario to the Hull region along the Ottawa River. It is set in post-war period and the family story is told through a series of ten short stories, most are from the eyes of the middle-child, Trude. I like Francis Itani's writing style. This book precedes 'Deafening'.

  • Judy
    2019-04-21 03:13

    I have just discovered Frances Itani. She writes beautifully and sensitively from the point of view of a child and teenager growing up in Quebec in the 1950s. It is more than just a coming of age novel as it reveals the lives a Protestant, English speaking family living far from their roots amongst Catholic, French speaking neighbours and how they adapt to changing circumstances.

  • Jo-anne
    2019-04-11 03:38

    Somewhat misleading as a book of short stories as I found the book to be more of a novel/chapter format.

  • Victoria Shepherd
    2019-04-23 02:24

    Darkly influenced by the swirling waters it is set against, this economically told story resonates deeply.

  • Lily
    2019-04-10 23:22

    Interesting Canadian family drama. Familiar to me as many of the place refences are Ottawa and Hull. Story of a rural family in the 50s and their sense of identity and happiness in place.